Plenary Sessions


Presenter: Captain Michael King, PhD, MSW

Description: This opening session will provide participants with useful information on the present initiatives of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Specifically, attendees will be able to examine epidemiological trends for the state of North Carolina, with the most recent data and information available presented. And, attendees will also be able to identify the data and the challenges of the opioid epidemic within the Southeast region of the country.

PLENARY-B. What’s Up Doc? We Have an Opiate Crisis…and More

Presenter: Martha Early, PhD

Description: This session will discuss the process of medical education as well as the history of the opiate crisis and its impact on healthcare today. Participants will hear how the medical community is responding  to this.  Other drugs that are at the forefront of healthcare will be reviewed as well. The presenter will address practical ways to work with community healthcare providers effectively.

PLENARY-C. The Dynamics of Change: Breaking the Cycle of Substance Use Disorders and Co-Morbidities

Presenter: Deb Lynskey-Lake, MSW, LCSW


Change starts with engagement. The decision to enter SUD treatment is not casual and usually is precipitated by a crisis of some kind. Clients may seek treamnt but are often ambivalent about change. he quadrants of change are widely known as precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action,  and maintenance.   Stage of Change assessment is a straightforward method that can be used quickly in an initial encounter and yet has vital implications for guiding therapeutic interventions. Clients who experience treatment interventions that match their stage of change demonstrate better outcomes than clients who are mismatched or not matched to these stages. Motivational Interviewing is an evidence-based, therapeutic intervention that begins at admission.  Treatment is always individualized and co-morbidities addressed simultaneously. Case studies will be reviewed to illustrate specific interventions to motivate change  and maintain recovery., including self-management.

(Sponsored By: Origins Behavioral Healthcare)

PLENARY-D: Professionalism, Burnout, and Work-Life Balance – What You Need to Know

Presenter: Clark Gaither, MD

Description: It is impossible to live a happy, satisfying, and rewarding professional life of passion driven purpose if you are burned out. It is incumbent for every professional to familiarize themselves with the three hallmarks, six underlying causes, and viable remedies for professional job related burnout. Equally important is to know, understand, and experience the polar opposite of burnout – ENGAGEMENT!

(Sponsored By: NC Physicians Health Program)